the-royal-chapel-of-st-anthony

The Royal Chapel of St. Anthony was built in the 17th century. This is situated opposite the ruins of the Church of St. Augustine and south of the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. It is dedicated to St. Anthony, the patron saint of the Portuguese army and navy. It is also one of the earliest churches to be built in Goa by Alfonso de Albuquerque. In 1835 the chapel was closed but opened again in 1894 when it was also renovated. It was inaugurated again in 1961 after complete restoration done by the Portuguese Government.

The Royal Chapel of St. Anthony is a semicircular small chapel. The facade exhibits unique style and it is not a copy of any famous architectural design. It faces east and the belfries give it a fortress like appearance. The doorway features a semi circular arch and twisted pilasters. The shutter exhibits the famous Augustinian symbol of the pelican feeding its offspring. The clerestory windows light up the interior of the church, which is exquisitely finished and richly ornamented.

The Statue of St. Anthony adorns the main altar. The side altars were dedicated to Our Lady of Fever and St. Cosimo & Damian. The walls of the Chapel have four frescoes with the pictures of the five doctors of the Church. A painting of Our Lady of fever carrying beautiful poem is also exhibited in the church. The poem includes two verses concerning the spiritual fever.

The statue of St Anthony was given the rank of captain of the army with a salary due to his rank. This statue was even taken in solemn procession to the State Treasury Office where the treasurer would respectfully deposit, in the hands of the statue, the salary due to him.

The Saint’s feat day celebrated on 13th June, there is procession where the statue of St Anthony is open to public. The feast is headed by a Talies (13 days of preparations) instead of the novena (9days feast). During the feast of St Anthony, the church attracts devotees from all over the world.